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Whenever we shop, certain risks are always present. Unfortunately, seniors are more susceptible to these risks. Throughout the year, but especially during the holiday season, criminals target shoppers both in stores and online.
General Shopping Safety Tips for Seniors
Shopping can often be overwhelming for all of us, including seniors. The elderly may be less mobile and move more slowly than others in crowded stores, putting them at greater risk for criminal activity. Here are some tips to make shopping safe and successful for you or your elderly loved one.
- Shop early in the day, especially on weekdays, to avoid large crowds. Stores are generally less crowded, and seniors can navigate the stores more easily. Another benefit of weekday shopping is that many stores offer senior discounts throughout the week. During weekends and evenings after work, many stores become overcrowded with longer lines at the register, making navigating aisles harder and keeping seniors on their feet longer.
- Have a “shopping buddy.” Shopping with a friend gives added safety if you or your loved one has issues with mobility. There’s “safety in numbers.” Plus, shopping with a buddy makes it more enjoyable.
- Don’t wait until the last minute. Often stores are busy the last few days before a holiday or promotional event. Shoppers can become less careful and more irritable, which can present problems for seniors.
- Always keep your car locked and store packages in the trunk or out of sight. This will help deter thieves from breaking into the vehicle.
- Shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If it’s necessary to shop at night, park as close as possible to the door and always in well-lit areas. The light often deters predators.
- Be aware of your surroundings and personal belongings. This can go a long way in helping to protect seniors from those attempting to take advantage of them or steal their bags, wallets, and purses.
Online Shopping Safety Tips for Seniors
Many unscrupulous people attempt to scam online shoppers. Being aware of this fact and shopping with eyes wide open is key to keeping financial information safe. Below are some tips for seniors to remember while online shopping.
- Many online sellers offer excellent deals, but it is essential to remember that if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Look into unfamiliar companies before buying from them. A quick Google search can provide reviews or information about the company’s legitimacy.
- Create strong and unique passwords. This makes it more difficult for hackers and those trying to steal personal information to get into your online accounts. Unique passwords can be difficult to remember, so either keep them written down in a safe place or use apps to store and retrieve passwords.
- Shop with trusted and known retailers. Most of these websites provide built-in security for their shoppers.
- Watch extra costs such as shipping. Companies sometimes offer low prices but then increase shipping prices to recoup some money.
For seniors, shopping can sometimes be a challenge, no matter what method is chosen. It doesn’t have to be. It can be a fun and enjoyable experience by following these safety tips.